Now a spokesperson has sought to put the issue to bed.
Deputy Inspector General Md Quamruzzman told bdnews24.com that the sheets will be purchased from a Bangladeshi contractor, but the dye will come from Germany. Thus, the visit was arranged for the Factory Acceptance Test.
The internet has been buzzing with talk of the visit since the Interior Ministry issued a notice of the tour on February 7, noting IGP Benazir Ahmed, Firoz Uddin Khalifa, Deputy Secretary for Public Security at the Interior Ministry, and the Police Superintendent Mohammad Masud Alam will visit Germany for nine days until February 28.
The notice states that the company will pay for the entire trip for the factory acceptance test as part of the purchase of the double sheets and pillowcases. The government will not foot the bill for the tour.
Bangladeshi home textile manufacturers have questioned the decision to involve a foreign country for the purchase of sheets when Bangladeshi products are exported to Europe, the United States and other parts of the world.
“You might find that even the German chancellor is sleeping on our sheets,” said Shahadat Hossain Sohel, president of the Association of Towel and Linen Manufacturers and Exporters of Bangladesh.
“Bangladeshi home textiles are sold at Aldi in Germany and other supermarkets. You will get Made in Bangladesh products in any department store there. We send products not only to Germany, but also to other European countries and America. The best brands sell our products.
Contacted for comment, Quamruzzman said it was incorrect for police to buy bed sheets from Germany.
“A local company has received an order for 100,000 sheets and pillowcases. In the October tender, it was stipulated that they would use European standard chemicals for dyeing. This Bangladeshi company will buy the dye from a German company. Factory Acceptance is an ongoing process. That’s why the IGP decided to go to Germany.
He said the local contractor will fund the trip and his experts will also be part of the inspection team. Members of the police will use the sheets and pillowcases.
Exporter Shahadat admitted that chemicals are imported from Germany or other European countries for dyeing. “Maybe something like that happens in that order. But I don’t know why the language of the government advice was like that.